The following question is the key to your sales and I bet you don’t know the answer: What is the one skill successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, self-help gurus, leadership experts, super church pastors, and comedians have in common? Drive, determination, intelligence, vision, luck, timing, charisma, work ethic? Is it something else? Increasing your sales right now is simply a matter of accepting a few simple facts in the way you approach the sales process. Begin with storytelling in sales.
A-B-C aka always be closing is a cute line from a movie but unfortunately too many sales people take it as gospel. Your personal infomercial, aka 30 second elevator pitch, is often the first step you take when meeting new potential clients in any networking event. But what happens after you catch your target’s eye and gain their attention?
I bet you begin the features and benefits pump and dump. A-B-C step #2: tell them the features of your product or service and highlight every detail. Follow each feature with a blistering list of benefits that will surely make your prospect aka new friend’s life much easier.
At this point, you have a choice to continue the onslaught dependent upon the answers or responses provided by your new friend. But guess what? He or she decides they have heard enough and thank you, take your card (a move designed to get the hell out of there), and thank you for the education. You will never hear from this person and after chasing him/her with emails, and possibly a follow up call, you give up. Granted you give up after 3-4 outreaches but you give up and move on to the next “victim.”
Emotional Connection: Make It or Break It
What was missing? You listened to your new friend. You probed gently and provided an infomercial of features and benefits. But what did you really accomplish? You missed the one thing that makes every sale a possibility – an emotional connection.
Storytelling the Key to Increased Sales
The answer to making that emotional connection, to increasing your sales, and to beginning a relationship with your new friend is the art of storytelling. There is nothing more powerful than relating a story how you, your product, or service created new opportunities for a client and made their life easier. If you can tell a story that took the pain away from a client then you have a skill that successful people understand and utilize to their benefit every day. People like Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, Joel Osteen, and Chris Rock all understand the power of storytelling and use it to their advantage – do you?
Richard Branson Storyteller Supreme
“Storytelling is a great way to get your views across, highlight how you and your company are different than your competitors, and also to work out new ideas,” and “Regardless of the medium–in person, on social media, through old fashioned letters, on the phone, or via email–there is nothing more effective and affecting than storytelling.” –Sir Richard Branson
The power of the campfire in human development was the basis of a study by anthropologist Polly Wiessner. Wiessner believes that the mastery of fire roughly 400,000 years ago allowed our ancestors to cook food, provide protection from animals and other humans, and most importantly it allowed our ancestors the opportunity to engage in conversations in a safe, comfortable setting. It inspired the trading of information and stories.
According to Carmine Gallo, Inc.com, “The tools of communication have changed, but the primitive brain has not. We think in story. We communicate in story. We remember information when it’s delivered in story. And if we remember information, we can act on it.”
Storytelling: What’s the Next Step?
The power of storytelling in selling you, your products, or your services is beyond question. As Gallo states “Storytelling is in our DNA. We are hard-wired to transfer ideas to one another in story form.” Now that you know storytelling is our destiny as humans, are you ready to begin the process of learning the science of storytelling? Increase your sales while connecting on an emotional level that sets the stage for more meaningful, lasting business and social relationships. The next step is how do you learn to tell a compelling story? Stay tuned as our next article will outline how to become a storytelling in sales professional.